Monday, November 14, 2011

A Successful Virginia Wine Month

While there is still dismay that Virginia actually makes wine by the vast majority of the wine-drinking public, the industry as a whole is making great strides towards getting the word out. October was Virginia Wine Month and everybody I spoke with from winemakers to wine reps to sommeliers were enthusiastic about being a Virginia wine evangelist for the month. Wineries hosted harvest festivals and live music, and restaurants offered specials on Virginia wine throughout the month. Overall, the push to raise awareness about Virginia wine was seen as a huge success and one more step on the road to winemaking respectability around the world – or at least the country.

One thing that the Virginia wine industry does have is an active and enthusiastic champion in the Governor’s Mansion. Actually, they have two of them as both the Governor and First Lady of the state have made it clear that they fully support Virginia’s wine industry and are working to see it thrive.

Gov. McDonnell Discusses the Importance of Virginia's Wine Industry.
Later He and My Wife Discussed All Things Notre Dame.
Go Irish!
At a recent Virginia Wine Month event held at Lincoln Restaurant in the District, Governor McDonnell sounded more like a wine geek than a public official when he spoke about the Chambourcin that was planted recently on the grounds of the Governor’s mansion. He told the crowd about his travel schedule which would make Bono blush: India, China, London, etc. to be the face and advocate for the industry. Through his efforts, Virginia winemakers know that they have an ally rather than an adversary that is working to see the industry grow.

And why not? Virginia is producing some great wine and the quality is only getting better. As winemaker and vineyard managers continue to take a more sophisticated approach to what grows well in Virginia’s soil, the quality will continue to increase and the potential to blend different varietals will continue to grow. Many of the wines I tasted at the event had a distinctive, almost Old World, quality about them.

Even though it is no longer October, there are still plenty of opportunities to raise a glass of Virginia - particularly Loudoun – wine and spread the word. 

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